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China’s last Anglican bishop dead: The Church of England Newspaper, December 2, 2012 p 6. December 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in China, Church of England Newspaper.
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Bishop K.H. Ting

The last Anglican bishop in China, Bishop Ting Kuang-hsun, has died.  The Amity Foundation reports that Bishop Ting died on 22 Nov 2012 in Nanjing. He was 98.

In 1955 Bishop K.H. Ting was consecrated as Bishop of Zhejiang of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui, the Anglican Church in China. A controversial figure among Chinese Christians, Bishop Ting has been accused of being an apologist for the government in its persecution of the “House Church movement” and an agent of influence for the Maoist regime, but he is also credited with keeping the church alive during a period of severe persecution.

A disciple of process theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Bishop Ting sought to develop a Chinese Christian theology that harmonized with the country’s culture and political leadership during the Maoist era.  He came to reject the doctrine of Justification of Faith and promoted a Justification by Love theology.  The bishop rejected the notion that mankind were first to be considered sinners as a consequence of the Fall, but rather were as likely to be sinned against as to sin.

Educated at Shanghai’s Saint John’s University, Bishop Ting was ordained in 1942 in Shanghai and served with the YMCA in China but left in 1946 to work for the Student Christian Movement in Canada and the World Student Christian Federation. Returning to China in 1951 he served as General Manager of the Shanghai-based Chinese Christian Literature Society, and in 1953 became president of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary—a post he held until his retirement in 2010.

The last meeting of the Chinese House of Bishops and General Synod was held in Shanghai in 1956, and shortly thereafter the church was merged by the Communist government with China’s other protestant denominations to form the China Christian Council (CCC). Bishop Ting remained an Anglican bishop, but his church had been effectively dissolved.

Jailed during the Cultural Revolution, Bishop Ting returned to national prominence in the 1970’s in the wake of the liberalizations following Mao’s death and became chairman of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and later president emeritus of the CCC. Bishop Ting also served as vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and as a member of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

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